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Posts Tagged ‘Congo’

I know I’ve been ranting a lot lately … sorry ’bout that … and am happy to excuse anyone tired of my seemingly-constant diatribes from bothering to read me.

BUT …

When shit like this pops up in front of me on a Thursday morning, I simply can’t help myself.

The number of people killed in a decade of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo may be half of the accepted toll of 5.4 million, a study has suggested.

First thought …

Ah … less than 3 million dead people? No prob, then, heh?

Second thought …

How much did this study cost?

Then paragraph number five makes me want to grab that hair brush again.

The BBC’s East Africa correspondent Peter Greste says the initial figures shocked the world into action.

Sorry, but does anyone recall the world being “shocked” into “action” in Congo?

The country is a mess, and the “action” touted has been about as useless as international “action” usually turns out to be.

“Military operations have not succeeded in neutralising the FDLR and have exacerbated the humanitarian crisis.”

Anyone questioning the uselessness would be welcome to ask any of the thousands of child soldiers forced into killing just how helpful all the “shock” and “action” have been.

It seems about time that we stopped buying the PR spin that absolves some guilt, perhaps, but in reality does so little, so late, and admit that the “world” really doesn’t give a shit.

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"Democratic" Republic of Congo © BBCGetting back into writing on issues of the world’s children, I’m struck this morning by a story the BBC is running today on the present state of affairs in the euphemistically named Democratic Republic of Congo.

Anyone who has been paying any attention at all is aware that, like the ongoing situation in Sudan, the DRC is a mess in large areas of the country and has been for years.

Of course, the children get the short end of the stick … or the sharp end, as is very often the case … and if you can stomach it, you can watch a vid on the page that illustrates the point.

This is NOT news … well, not to me. But it does seem to come as a surprise … surprise, surprise … to the UN.

Good old Ban Ki-moon is doing the usual Sec. Gen. tap dance thing of announcing a report … 28 pages of a report … that expresses concern.

Big whip! And SO too little and too late.

In his 28-page report for the UN Security Council, Mr Ban says the human rights situation in DR Congo is a “cause for grave concern”.

He states that elements of the Congolese army and national police “were responsible for a large number of serious human rights violations during the reporting period, namely arbitrary executions, rape, torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”.

Rebels, including Gen Nkunda’s Tutsi CNDP and the Rwandan Hutu FDLR militia – some of whose fighters are believed to have taken part in the 1994 Rwandan genocide – are meanwhile accused of perpetrating “serious human rights abuses with impunity”.

These include “mass killings, torture, abductions, forced recruitment of children, forced displacement and destruction of [refugee] camps, force labour, sexual violence”, the report adds.

The Congolese national civilian and military intelligence services are also accused of making arbitrary arrests, followed by “torture and extortion”.

Do I hear a “duh” resounding?

The Security Council did just approve sending another 3,000 “peacekeepers” to an area that has seen somewhere around a quarter of a million people displaced … no one knows how many are dead, so don’t need to bother with becoming refugees … so, gee, that should make a big diff. Or not.

Once again, I’m forced to harp on the useless of the UN and wonder how many children who have been orphaned, tortured, raped, pressed into soldiering, prostitution, starvation or other horrors most would rather not think about.

I’ll also drop in a bit about the impossibility of offering any of these children a family while I again wonder about the segment of the world that considers international adoption a bad thing … cultural genocide that robs a child of their birthright to die in the country that bred them.

Gee. Why is this a one-note song?

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